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Student and Alumni Playwriting Contest Deadline is December 8, 2017

Remember to submit your plays to this year’s Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Playwriting Contests by midnight Friday, December 8, if you are submitting them by email (send to If you are mailing them, be sure they are postmarked by December 8.

The Hendrix-Murphy Playwriting Contest was proposed in 1985 by then-students Werner Trieschmann ’86 and Doug Blackmon ’86, and by theatre faculty Rosemary Henenberg and Frank Roland. The program was designed to cultivate the skills of fledgling playwrights who are current or former Hendrix students. A professional playwright judges competitions; one for students and the other for alumni. Cash prizes are awarded to plays of significant merit, and every entrant receives an evaluation by the judge.

Playwright Sofya Weitz will be the contest judge again this year. She has developed work with JACK, Dixon Place, the Araca Group, PlayXPlay, and The Tank, among others. She’s been a finalist for the Downstage Left Residency and Next Act Theatre and was nominated for the 2016 PoNY Fellowship. She’s had commissions with The Motor Company, Steep Theatre and Chinatown Soup (to write plays in conversation with visual art pieces), where she recently received a space grant. Sofya was a recent finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman award and has also produced and directed short films, pilots and play festivals. She received her MFA in Writing for the Screen & Stage from Northwestern University and currently teaches writing at St. John’s University. 

Last year’s first place winners were Allison Price ’17 in the student competition and Mark Stephens ’70 in the alumni contest.

Allison Price ’17 was a senior creative writing major, with a minor in Theatre, from Starkville, Mississippi. After being accepted into more than one graduate program, she is currently living in Little Rock and considering her choices. Her play, The Immortal Katie Stewart, is about what happens when a fairy godmother gives a young girl the opportunity to become Cinderella and she decides to become immortal instead,” according to Allison. Playwriting contest judge Sofya Weitz describes the play as a “delightful, funny, and fast-moving story.”  

Mark Stephens ’70 received a B.A. in Visual Arts from Hendrix and went on to earn an M.F.A. in Sculpture from Southern Methodist University. He received a Fulbright-Hayes Scholarship Award, one of two awarded to American Sculptors for them to study and work in Italy under masters of stone carving. He was a stone mason to Westminster Abbey and Hampton Court while working for Gilbert and Turnbull Contractors in London, England. He currently lives in West Sussex, England, and is a writer and a self-employed sculptor in stone. In his play, Willow Creek, several characters are based on people he knows in England, even though the play takes place in America. The minister in the play is based on his father, whom Mark admired and loved for his intellectuality, and for his passion for classical music and great literature. The playwriting contest judge described his play as “a melodic, lulling and intellectually interesting rumination on family life, the dynamic of home, the juxtaposition of nature versus civilization, all while dabbling in themes of natural preservation, faith, Christianity, and capitalism.” She also noted that “a real strength of this piece is the hypnotic way the story and characters draw you into their world.”

This program is sponsored by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language, which are designed to enhance and enrich the study and teaching of literature and language at Hendrix College. For more information about this and future events, please contact Henryetta Vanaman at 501-450-4597 or